If you haven't read the book, "The 5 Love Languages" by Dr. Chapman, DO! It's a wonderful read for married couples to explore how each of us gives and receives love in one primary way, such as physical touch, words of affirmation, or quality time together. I've heard many couples say that it was the most helpful book in their marriage. While I agree that it was useful in learning how to communicate love to my husband, and recognize when he is giving it to me, I think I've used these tools most in my mothering.
There is actually a sequel to Chapman's book called, "The 5 Love Languages of Children" and while I haven't read it, I've used what I learned in the original manuscript to find ways to communicate love to my little ones.
QUALITY TIME TOGETHER has been an over-arching theme in the needs of our boys. While I have one who melts with physical touch, and another who softens when we have time to talk, talk, talk... they all come to life when we take the time to connect with them one-on-one over a fun activity.
One of the things we've tried to do this year is reward our boys with one-on-one time. Caleb had a "Brotherly Love" chart, where he earned stickers for displaying loving care toward his brothers. Instead of earning a physical prize to add to a collection of stuff, after 25 hard earned stickers Caleb won a date with his dad. They went to the guitar center and played every instrument in the place, followed by a trip to the ice cream store. Hours of together time, just the two of them!
And I understand the need! When Matt and I go on a date, we're barely out of the community when I find myself marveling over how much I LIKE my husband! O course I love him, and of course I love my children, but it takes getting away one-on-one for me us to recall that we like, truly like one another.
This week my husband and I divvied up the boys to take them on three one-on-one dates to DIsneyland. I got a special trip with my first born on Sunday, and then went back yesterday with Asher. Matt had the joy of riding all of the roller coasters with our daring middle-boy, Brody. Here are some of my pictures from my time speaking love into the hearts of Caleb and then Asher.
One of the songs that played at our wedding, as guests filled the beach where we were wed, was the old Hymn, Blest be the tie that binds.
Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.
Before our Father's throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.
We share each other's woes,
our mutual burdens bear;
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.
You know my heart is to pray with my children, to share their woes and their cares, and to meet with them again for all eternity on the other side of Glory. But winning their hearts, for the purpose of faith taking root in their lives, starts with tying binds. Binding our hearts together with joy and fun and memories, with safe and pleasant times together, with stress-free and care-free fetters, that keep them close and trusting us as we do pray and share and lead them to Jesus and to the life that is offered them there.
Dates are part of the process. Dates have eternal significance.
Date your children, date your spouse, win their hearts, and point them to Jesus.
Categories: Raising Boys